The annual FOCUS Summit was held March 3–4 in Dallas. Financial educators from schools, credit unions, and other organizations met to take a look at the many benefits of financial literacy, and to gain insight on better tools, hear from other financial educators, and engage in group activities such as empathy maps.
On Thursday, attendees heard from the event’s keynote speaker David Bach, well-known author of Finish Rich, about how to put a budget on autopilot and his famous “latte factor.” They also enjoyed a question-and-answer and a book autograph sessions with Bach. Some attendees even took selfies with Mr. Bach.
Cynthia Campbell spoke about the journey from financial literacy to financial capability and presented Filene’s research on the financial capability of women, pre-retirees, higher-educated Hispanics, and GenY'ers. Danielle Brown from the National Credit Union Foundation spoke about utilizing BizKid$ in communities and how important it is for young people to have well-rounded resources.
Laura Rosen from the Center for Public Policy Priorities presented an overview of a new state policy and initiative to connect Texas students with college savings accounts. John Lanza, author and creator of Money Mammals, connected with the audience about his program that teaches children to save early.
From Ken Goodgames, attendees heard how they can use Transformance programs to assist in their financial education programs, and Tamra Fairbrother presented on how leading confidently can directly benefit your outer brand and overall success.
Attendees wrapped up the day with a reception sponsored by the National Credit Union Foundation in the exhibit hall. Exhibitors included organizations that provide practical tools, resources, and products for financial educators.
Friday morning began with a discussion of Day 1 of the Summit. One attendee stated that they really appreciated the opportunity to attend the FOCUS Summit because it helped them feel refreshed on their knowledge of financial education. Cynthia Campbell returned to present on empathy and engaged attendees by asking them to build their own empathy maps as a group.
Susan Sharkey with NEFE conducted an interactive session by requiring attendees to build their own financial education presentations. After a short break, Katy Davis from Ideas42 presented a session on the behavioral perspective of consumer finance.
After lunch, Texas Rep. Marsha Farney, (R-District 20), emphasized the need to make financial education advocacy a required course in all classrooms.
The conference wrapped up with an entertaining presentation from Lee Wetherington from ProfitStars on how money makes consumers feel and how credit unions can use their members’ emotional IQs to best serve them financially via services, such as financial education.
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